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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

009-1 vol. 1 Impression

Let's cut right to the chase. ADV's latest spy thriller, 009-1 is a mixture of 007 action and intrigue shaken, not stirred, with the beauty of Charlie's Angels and a dash of the Bionic Woman to make for the perfect anime drink. Thirsty for something fresh, look no further than 009-1.

As one might guess form the title, 009-1 like 007 is the code name/number given to one bad-ass, sexy female super spy. 009-1 is one in a group of such spies, fem fatales with looks to kills and the jubblies to match. The first episode begins with 009-1 silhouetted against a window in a hotel room, covered in nothing but a sheet and her birthday suit. Her target and most recent bed partner gets the drop on this seemingly unarmed agent only to end up on the wrong end of a bullet, a boobie bullet to put it bluntly. Do the math, figure out where the deadly projectile comes from and your on the way to enjoying a spy anime not seen since … I'd say Lupin, with more blood. The overall story is a fictional Cold War that never ended its spy vs. spy on a new level. Neither side is really good as proven by the treatment of mutant children. What I like about the story is it sets up so many possibilities down the road without overcomplicating things, but I do have a few beefs outlined further down.

The art style of Shotaro Ishinomori with its unique design lends itself so well to the variety of good guys, bad guys and everywhere in-between guys and gals found in a good spy thriller. The animation is clean, sharp with just the right colors to add to the vibrant action, or dull enough to setup the mood just right. It may take a little time to get used to some of the characters eyes, just black dots, but that's part of Ishinomori's design appeal, it's unique. The story did have me scratching my head just a wee bit. Episode one does focus on 009-1, but also here compatriots, the rest of the 00 squad, but that's it for DVD 1. I was thinking we'd get to know each girl better, see her adventure, but nope, it's all about 009-1 after episode 1, and trust me, you won't complain. Each episode stand very, very well on its own, but I did find myself wanting more, more of a background, or at least a tease of future background stories and strife. We shall see with volume 2 of the series.

All in all, 009-1 is a series for anyone who loves fast paced spy filled action. Some fans may be put off by the art design, but try to get past this as there is a beautiful anime to be had, one that is shaping up nicely, but I really want to see more on 009-1's background. That's on me, so we shall see. Check it out, watch the trailer and satisfy your hunger for 007'ish action.

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